Music Reviews



Chris Octane: Synthetics/Gaia's Dub

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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May 02 2013
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Artist: Chris Octane (@)
Title: Synthetics/Gaia's Dub
Format: 12"
Label: CO:RE (@)
Rated: *****
After the widely acclaimed release "Method In The Madness" together with DLR, Chris Octane undertakes a personal route by launching his own imprint CO:RE and dropping the first self-signed release, which doesn't sound just like a persuading proof of concept, but a sort of spiritual groundwork as well. The first track "Synthetics" unrolls both amazing beats, crackling drums, an effected buzzing electric guitar, cryptically vanishing melodies, which chorally sounds like cogs of a wheel in perpetual motion and a voice which enunciates a pensive reflection about the mutated perspective of an artificial reality, which invites listeners to think about the role of synthesis in the perception of surrounding and often encapsulated world. Such a reflection on "artificiality" looks like the mirror image of the spinned thoughts by the following "Gaia's Dub", a possible decryption of a raped Mother Nature, whose unpredictable burst, eruptions and sizzles could be likewise considered as cogs of a self-regulating machine, whose response is commensurate with any different attempt of awkward sabotage. Chris' work on mid frequencies and reverbs are really compelling and succeeds in masking the layered structure of both tracks.

Gerwin: Against The Clock/See Thru My Eyes

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Apr 30 2013
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Artist: Gerwin (@)
Title: Against The Clock/See Thru My Eyes
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: IM:Ltd (@)
Distributor: Triple Vision
Rated: *****
One of the top scorers of renowned hyperkinetic French dnb label IM:Ltd, Bordeaux-based dj and producer Gerwin, outdoes himself by signing another great release, which is arguably his cutting-edge at the moment together with the collaborative track "Lying Portraits". The atmospheric introduction, lying on trembling suspenseful sonorities, ends with a sharpened sine wave, which often recurs on this ideal fight against time on "Against the Clock" and ignites an engaging breakbeat-oriented stride, which got strengthened by a minblowing ultra-low-pitched sub-bass, metallic suctions, stretched clicks and a vocal sample, which will make you think about the strain of such a tiring struggle. On the flipside, "See Thru My Eyes" sounds equally winsome by means of hypnotical sliding bass tones, vocal fragments, cavernous effects, slamming hits and temporary "exotic" intervals, but it seems that Gerwin preferred to emphasize the cinematic aspect, which could you let think about the fighter of the previous track, who ask his imaginary opponent or maybe the listener to inspect his soul thereupon he absorbed all shocks of last-gasp fight. Did he win? Who knows! In the meanwhile, just enjoy this contagious last ditch effort. This release is just digital at the moment, but I could surmise that vinyl will follow.

Rekord 61: Kaskad EP

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Apr 16 2013
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Artist: Rekord 61 (@)
Title: Kaskad EP
Format: 12"
Label: Konstruktiv (@)
Distributor: Triple Vision
Rated: *****
Well begun is half done, as the saying goes, and Moscow-based Russian producer Alexander Babaev in the gise of his stage alias Rekord 61 must know that quote after this first brick of his newborn label Konstruktiv, whose name well summarise its underlying music policy. The release number 1 includes a couple of excellent tracks and a remix by renowned Berlin dj and producer Phon.o, which transpose some compositional techniques of IDM, based on the deconstruction of beat patterns, to make something which will make you think about the building of a monumental skyscraper. Softened hammering, muffled snare drum, bleeping ticktocks, a slowly rising synth-brass portrays an intense activity or a big construction site (or an imaginary electronic anthill) on the initial "Kaskad", whose source of inspiration came from monumental art and technical aesthatics of giant industrial constructions in the middle of the last century. It got wisely remixed by Phon.o, who rehashed pulleys, levers, cranes, concrete mixers and other tools by drier hits and effects on buzzing bass and synth-brass which accentuated the epic aura of the original version. The second track on B-side, "Prostor", lies on the catchy sound of a slapped bass, banging claps and joyful breaks, which gradually become stronger and stronger while rhythmical synths climb over unutterable heights.The foundations have just been laid.

VV.AA.: The Aftermath

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Apr 13 2013
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: The Aftermath
Format: CD
Label: IM:Ltd (@)
Distributor: Triple Vision
Rated: *****
The end of the world is not just nigh. It has already arrived and according to the surprisingly scouting Parisian dnb label IM:Ltd, the revealing signs are not related to some killer virus, uncontrollable porcine pathologies, crushing collisions or even the questionable likings of garment and the collection of dildos and dongs of Nicki Minaj (too tremendously unpredictable even for the most plausibly insightful doomsayers!), but they are rather to be found in the dangerous old-fashioned arsenal by Dr.Strangelove. This bizarre preface condones the excellent sonic prophylaxis of this collection of fine tunes, which are less booming and violent than it's suggested by the post-(or pre-)apocalyptic unreal (or maybe not so unreal...) fears its references spade and definitively more contemplative and somehow thought-up. The track which gives the name to the compilation by talented American dj Adrien Smadbeck aka Flaco and Portland-based producer Glen E.ston sets the mood by means of air raids of metallic ticks and vitriolic laser cutting of soldering guitars, carpet bombing of hard snares and clear-cut kicks, whose dust clouds rise together vocal samples and sequenced laments of baby phantoms, whose withering echoes is more clear in the following freezing track "Winteria" where Es.tereo and Marlyn seem to enhance their drum-machines with icicles to build their adventurous song. The following tracks seem to describe a series of inner journey which erect over this imaginary emotional setting with remarkable stylistical pinnacles, reached by means of a carousel of great tunes: the clicking sounds and sweet chimes which disengage heavenly transmissions on "Black On Ice" by Glen E.ston, the engaging blurs of hypnotic pinwheels on Silent Dust Remix of Es.tereo's "Have A Dream" and the game of light and shade by liquid sounds and descending tones over episodic electronic sizzles, stretched flutes and piano strokes on Hibea's "Butterfly" precedes the very first vocal track "All Inside Myself" by Ukranian producer Pavel Kuzmin aka Physical Illusion where the fluoroscopic and emotionally intense song by MC Flava ominously rises over desolate sonorities. The bewitching sonic spell keeps on the somehow melancholic chiming tune of Mortem's "Recall", whose slow pace sound emphasized by 56k modem typical tone, on the relaxing intertwining of sprawling pad-synths, crackling beats and fizzing samples of Atom's "Analog Books", on more vintage jungle-oriented whispering ghosts of Calculon's "Hold Back", before the final tip-top spurts of melodic energy on "We feeling what we doing" by Physical Illusion, whose bounce got emphasized by gloomy and hopeful words of Mc Kryptomedic, whose repetition of sentence "I had a dream, a new foundation" strikes an uplifting chord to the entire selection.

Takamovsky: In Streams

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Apr 08 2013
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Artist: Takamovsky (@)
Title: In Streams
Format: CD
Label: Etymtone (@)
Rated: *****
A whirligig of electronic sizzling sounds, fogged by the swish of electric current, placental warm bass rolls and a rising mellifluous pad, boots the first module of "The Central Speechscrambler" up, which introduces this excellent debut release by musician and author Juergen Berlakovich aka Takamovsky, who spotlights abyssal inhabitants and oddballs which often surface from the depths of data streams with their burden of concerns, vain ambitions, emotional baggages and outbursts, so that the three parts of the above-mentioned suite, influenced by William Burroughs's essay The Electronic Revolution (a notorious source for inspiration for many musicians, particularly of the industrial scene), where a robotic, but somehow pitched voice, articulates desultory speeches in order to represent the intimate senselessness and intentionally messy illogicality of everyday media news and the implementation of the cut-up technique to confusing news broadcasts and political speeches with the subtle intent of control over individuals. The charming sonic involucre of the speech from this imaginary anchorman emphasizes the circumstance that even absurdities could sound plausible when the form without content is attractive and even if you try to read between the lines, someone could get a glimpse of some revealed truth or partially censored truths behind encrypted sentences. For instance, the second part of "The Central Speechscrambler" says "The secret agency denial malitious potential messages. A modern matter. Srettsgatie taekn commicnu itaons. Cyberattacks. A dmeorn tamer. Tehl batet msvoe itno acrpybsece. Brcaytteas. The battle moves into cyberspace.". Over these streams, Juergen buoys contemporary manias, bizarre paranoias and last vacillating stronghold of individualism and cultural uniformity of social networks ("Paranoid King"), barking and rebarking dogs in the amazing song "Dogstar", inspired by Franz Kafka's "Investigations of a Dog" - I recommend to read it in order to check the particular role of music, the meaning of the "mysterious" appearance of seven dogs and the proper references in lyrics -, godforsaken djs, lovers belonging to digital age in the act of translation their computerized wet dreams into contemporary language (the queit guitar-driven song "Data d'Amour" seems to parody the technologically affected languages by echoing an essay on this matter by Timothy Leary: "Text my head and scan my face/Hack my thoughts, compile my grace/Zip them then and save them safe/Scroll my ears, debug my nose/Emulate my shoes and clothes/With little magic stick/[...] Shift my hips and microchips/Surf my butt and read my lips/Syntax error no undo") and all underwater saboteurs ("Dead Air") within a majestic blow-up whose implicitly malicious mockery amalgamates them like the fantasy of Hyeronimus Bosch could arguably do. Takamovsky's musical collage sounds equally kaleidoscopic and you'll easily perceive elements and reminiscences of jazz, dance music, electro-pop, abstract electronics, blues, field recordings, Radiohead, Tom Waits, Fennesz, Frank Zappa, Nikakoi, Royksopp which all got blended by Juergen's quick and dry wit.


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